The National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF) has announced its seven inductees for 2014. The black-tie ceremony, hosted by Premiere Networks’ Delilah, will take place 11/9 in LA. It will mark the first time the induction ceremony has taken place outside of Chicago. Premiere will produce and distribute the broadcast in association with the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC).
The seven new inductees:
Charlie & Harrigan
Charlie Brown, a.k.a. Jack Woods, and Irv Harrigan, a.k.a. Paul Menard, were first paired in 1966 at KLIF/Dallas before moving on to ratings success in Cleveland, Houston, and both KFMB and KCBQ in San Diego, where the duo invented “reconstructed syndication,” a way to spread their local success to more than 40 affiliates in both large and small markets across the country. Using specially tailored audiotapes delivered via UPS that included time checks, weather, and local information and references, listeners in every single city were sure that Charlie & Harrigan were just down the street.
Born in Baltimore in 1930 and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, Farber began his radio career in the ’50s when he joined WNBC/New York as producer of Tex and Jinx. In 1960 he launched Barry Farber’s Open Mike at WINS, and two years later he began a 15-year association with WOR. In 1977 Farber left WOR to run for mayor of New York but returned to the microphone the following year for a decade-plus run at WMCA. In 1990 he went national as part of the ABC Radio Network, and since 2008 Farber has been heard on CRN Digital Talk Radio.
Stanley E. Hubbard
A true radio pioneer and visionary, Hubbard is the founder of one of the most successful companies in broadcasting history, Hubbard Broadcasting. He launched his first station, WAMD/Minneapolis, in 1923, airing the popular dance show Where All Minneapolis Dances. But his first love was news: in 1924 he started what was likely the first regularly scheduled daily news broadcast (6:00 every night) in radio history. Always an innovator, Hubbard was the first broadcaster ever to go on the air with the intention of surviving solely from advertising sales. His legacy has lived on through several generations of family leadership that have followed his pioneering spirit.
Miller has been “the voice of the San Francisco Giants” on KNBR since 1997. After brief stops in Oakland, Texas, and Boston, Miller signed with the Baltimore Orioles for play-by-play duties in 1983 at WFBR (and, later, WBAL). He stayed in Baltimore through the 1996 season, and while there began a two-decade run with ESPN, from anchoring Sunday Night Baseball on TV starting in 1990 to covering 13 consecutive World Series for ESPN Radio. He was at the microphone when Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for consecutive games played and when Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run. In 2010 Miller entered the broadcasters’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Agnes Moorehead (posthumous)
Born in 1900, Moorehead began her career as a singer on KMOX/St. Louis. In the 1930s she moved to New York, and by 1935 was one of radio’s busiest and most versatile actresses. Moorehead epitomized the golden age of radio drama, becoming the first actor to play Margo Lane on The Shadow and Mrs. Brown on The Aldrich Family, and she was an original ensemble member of Orson Welles’s The Mercury Theatre on the Air. During the 1940s she costarred with Lionel Barrymore in Mayor of the Town and became “the First Lady of Suspense” by appearing in more than 25 episodes of the long-running series. Television brought her more fame through her role as Endora on Bewitched before she passed away on April 30, 1974.
Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1933, Orkin was 16 when he launched his radio career at WKOK/Sunbury. After attending the Yale School of Drama, he returned to Pennsylvania as news director at WLAN/Lancaster, then joined KYW/Cleveland. In 1967 he was off to WCFL/Chicago, where he created Chickenman, which chronicled the comic exploits of a mild-mannered shoe salesman turned crime-fighter; the longest-running radio serial of all time, its 195 episodes have been syndicated worldwide. Since 1978 Orkin has created commercials for radio through his own production company, the California-based Radio Ranch.
This American Life with Ira Glass
The Wall Street Journal has called This American Life “a forum for highly personal yet idiosyncratic stories” that range from the humorous to the heartbreaking, while the program’s own website calls it “a documentary show for people who normally hate documentaries.” Host and producer Ira Glass launched This American Life in November 1995 as Your Radio Playhouse on WBEZ/Chicago; four months later it was retitled This American Life, and by the summer of ’96 it had been picked up for national syndication. Glass and his staff moved the program to New York in 2007. This American Life focuses on reporting stories with a depth that Glass has described as “funny and sad, personal and sort of epic at the same time.” It has won two George Foster Peabody Awards.
“The National Radio Hall of Fame is taking the show on the road this year,” said MBC Founder and President Bruce DuMont in making the announcement. “There are many Radio Hall of Famers living in southern California and several 2014 inductees, so it seems like a great time to try something different, and it will be good to do the show live once again.” Jim Bohannon of Westwood One will reprise his role as the broadcast’s announcer.
The 2014 NRHOF induction-ceremony broadcast will also honor the women of the National Radio Hall of Fame: actors Eve Arden (Our Miss Brooks), Virginia Payne (Ma Perkins), Shirley Bell (Little Orphan Annie), and Virginia Clark and Julie Stevens (The Romance of Helen Trent); comedians Gracie Allen and Jane Ace; triple threats Marian Jordan (Fibber McGee and Molly) and Gertrude Berg (The Goldbergs), who created, wrote, and starred in their own hit shows; behind-the-scenes players like producer Lynne “Angel” Harvey and executive Cathy Hughes; journalists Ann Compton (ABC News) and Susan Stamberg (NPR); interviewer Terry Gross (Fresh Air); singer and national icon Kate Smith; urban-radio personality Wendy Williams; Chicago disc jockeys Yvonne Daniels and Terri Hemmert; and jazz great Marian McPartland.